Clonal analysis of the chick embryo hindbrain has shown that during the first 48 hr of neurogenesis the large majority of neural progenitor cells generate clones of neurons of only a single major phenotype or of only closely related phenotypes. This is despite considerable spatial intermixing of diverse neuronal phenotypes at these stages of development and suggests that phenotype may be decided early in mitotic precursors and remembered through several subsequent rounds of division and dispersal (Lumsden et al.  Development 120:1581-1589). Here we have used fate-mapping and clonal analysis to study neuroepithelial cell dispersal and mixing in the early hindbrain and discuss this data in relation to the generation of single phenotype neuronal clones. We find that dispersal is not uniform throughout the dorsoventral axis of the neural tube, but is highly dependent on position along that axis. Neuronal identity is related to the spatial origin and, hence, environment of the cell, and the spatial intermixing of diverse neuronal phenotypes at HH stage 20 is largely the result of circumferential neuronal migration as medially born branchial motor neurons migrate laterally while the more laterally born mlf neurons migrate medially. Constraints on the dispersal of clonally related progenitors, in particular those that lie adjacent to the floor plate, may serve to restrict the fate of these cells to the generation of only one major neuronal phenotype, i.e., motor neurons.